When I first watched La Casa de Papel (Money Heist), right away I hated The Professor (Alvaro Morte), the ostensible leader of Netflix’s hit heist series. His apathetic and self-serving nature irked me in a way that I did not feel towards the other members of his gang, his “be-all/end-all” motives left a sour taste in my mouth… And frankly, coming into the final season of the series (which premieres September 3), I want The Professor to get his comeuppance.
To be clear, my hope for the show’s ending is that the heist members do get to finish the job of robbing the Spanish Treasury; however, I’m not rooting for the Professor to come out unscathed. And with the series finishing up, anything goes — so why not throw in one last wild twist, and have The Professor pay for his crimes?
So why should The Professor, of all the criminals on the show, be the one to go down in the end? Unlike the rest of his crew, The Professor has not physically been involved in any of the heists, but rather served as an outside force aiding those on the inside. He wasn’t there when Nairobi (Alba Flores), the gun-ho badass with a heart of gold, got shot and was fighting for her life. He wasn’t there to help Rio (Miguel Herran), when he and Tokyo (Ursula Cordero) were surrounded by Interpol officers in Season 2. Why should we as an audience grow to care for someone who didn’t even get their hands dirty? Should we actually care for someone who, based on the events of the show, is only looking to serve their own-self interests?
On the flip side, there is Tokyo (Úrsula Corberó). Like The Professor, she isn’t necessarily the greatest person in the world — but she does have plenty of redeeming qualities that make you want her to complete the heists. For example, Tokyo’s empathic relationship with her mother, whom we get a glimpse of in the first two seasons, humanizes her. Or you could look at when Tokyo held Nairobi’s hand as she was fighting for her life after being shot by Detective Sierra’s (Najwa Nimri) army. Tokyo is someone you can root for; The Professor is not.
And speaking of Sierra, that’s yet another character who puppet-masters events from the sidelines. Why is The Professor portrayed as a hero, while Sierra is manipulative and cruel?
That said, since Part 5 has yet to premiere, hopefully the episodes will lean more into exploring The Professor’s inner psyche, learning what really drives him, and why he was so compelled to complete this heist. But even if we do grow to have sympathy for the character, I still want the Professor to be held accountable, one way or another. Whether it be at the hands of Detective Sierra, a foe who is an even match for The Professor, or even the crew finally realizing The Professor doesn’t have their best interests at heart, we need to see him pay for what he’s done. And if he doesn’t? That would be the ultimate crime.
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